NASA Insignia
Astrophysical Extremes and Life Cycles of the Elements: Opportunities from the MeV Gamma-ray Sky

Prospects for AGN Studies with AMEGO

Prof. Eileen T. Meyer

University of Maryland Baltimore County

The accreting super-massive black holes at the centers of Active Galaxies are highly energetic phenomena which we now know play an important role in the evolution of massive galaxies and clusters. These complex systems emit at practically every wavelength we are capable of measuring, and were one of the first subjects of multi-wavelength astronomy. They are one of the main source classes as X-ray, gamma-ray and TeV energies, and our understanding of AGN has progressed tremendously over the past two decades with the grown of high-energy astronomy. However, we remain largely "in the dark" in the energy range from tens of keV to 100 MeV, a gap of nearly four orders of magnitude, and a part of the spectrum in which we expect many interesting signatures from various classes of AGN. I will discuss several of the open questions in AGN research for which an MeV mission is critical, including the problem of the emission mechanism in AGN jets, understanding the energetics and evolution of jets (especially at high redshift), measurements of the extragalactic background light and origin of cosmic rays, and the nature of the corona in radio-quiet AGN.